Clark Atlanta drops season opener to West Alabama
West Alabama 42, Clark Atlanta 6
Livingston, Ala.—A late fourth quarter 1-yard rushing touchdown by freshman running back Montavious Taylor put the Clark Atlanta University Panthers on the board for their lone score as they fell 42-6 in the season opener on the road against the University of West Alabama at Tiger Stadium Saturday.
The Tigers scored two touchdowns on its first two possessions that gave them a 14-0 advantage early in the first quarter. Before the end of the period they added a defensive score after a fumble recovery by DeQuan Shockley on the Panthers’ 20-yard line that increased their lead by three touchdowns. After a 15-yard second quarter passing touchdown, West Alabama (1-0) held a commanding 28-0 lead at the half. While the Panthers struggled offensively with only 77 total first half yards, West Alabama recorded 144 passing yards and 120 on the ground.
Clark Atlanta(0-1) managed only 20 yards on offense in the third quarter, and the Tigers extended their lead to 42-0 at the end of the period. Taylor’s fourth quarter rushing touchdown came on a 14 play, 75-yard drive at the 6:45 mark. West Alabama’s Juan Hartsfield blocked CAU’s extra point attempt.
Lane slays Virginia-Lynchburg Dragons
Lane 38, Virgina-Lynchburg 13
LYNCHBURG, VA–Chris Rini scored threw three touchdown passes, rushed for a another score, while adding a 31-yard field goal to propel Lane College to a 38-13 win over University of Virginia-Lynchburg in the Dragons season opener played at Lynchburg Stadium.
Rini connected with three different receivers and running back Gerald Hatchet scored the Dragons first touchdown of the season.
Lane, 1-0, will host Morehouse College next week for its home opener in Jackson, TN.
Tigers spoil Central State’s home opener
Benedict 42, Central State 9
WILBERFORCE, Ohio – Benedict College sophomore quarterback Marcus Graham made a triumphant return to his hometown, totaling 373 yards of total offense and accounting for five touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 42-9 victory over the Central State Marauders on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Graham, who had a large contingent of family and friends at the game, rushed 14 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 11-of-23 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
The Benedict offensive line not only protected Graham and gave him time to throw, they also opened up big running lanes for the Tiger stable of running backs. The Tigers gained 304 yards on the ground, more than double their season-high in 2012. The 573 yards of total offense was well above last year’s season high of 335. And that was without last year’s leading rusher, Christopher Johnson, who missed the game with a knee injury. True freshman Kenneth Hurley Jr., redshirt freshman Lorenza Cooper and transfer and Dayton native Tavion Wright all stepped up with impressive runs.
Hurley gained 76 yards on 15 carries, while Cooper busted a 56-yard run and finished with 65 yards on four carries. Wright gained 54 yards on 12 carries.
Benedict, (1-0), showed some impressive speed with its wide receivers. Harlon Samuels had a 56-yard touchdown reception and a 45-yard scoring strike. Kendariss Brown opened the game with a 28-yard touchdown pass and Maurice Griffin had a 74-yard catch.
The Benedict defense held Central State to 197 yards of total offense and didn’t give up a touchdown until the final six minutes of the game, with the Tigers comfortably ahead 35-3.
Benedict scored first on their first possession as Graham connected with Sameuls for a 28-yard strike. After recovering a Marauder fumble, the Tigers moved to the Central State 13-yard line, but Graham fumbled at the 5. The Marauders couldn’t move the ball, and the Tigers got the ball back after a punt at the CSU 31-yard line. Benedict kept it on the ground for seven straight plays, with Graham pushing it in from the 1 to put the Tigers ahead 14-0.
Central State scored a field goal at the end of the first quarter, and the 14-3 score held up until halftime, as both Benedict and Central State missed field goal attempts in the second quarter.
The Marauders scored its only touchdown on a 27-yard run by Wilson with 6:41 left in the game. The senior finished with 143 yards rushing, but was limited to only 43 yards passing.
The Tigers travel to New York City next week to take on Virginia State University in the New York Urban League Classic in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Central State will travel to Frankfort to play Kentucky State for an SIAC West Division contest on Saturday.
Miscues haunt Fort Valley State in loss to No. 1 Valdosta State
Valdosta State 36, Fort Valley State 21
MACON, GA–Fort Valley State University scored two late touchdowns early in the fourth quarter, but a late interception ruined the Wildcats comeback bid in the team’s 36-21 loss to defending National Champion Valdosta State University at Henderson Stadium.
Fort Valley State, (0-1), trailed 36-8 in the third quarter until running back Jonquez Taylor’s touchdown run in the third quarter broke the 21 unanswered points scored by the Blazers. Moments later, Wide Receiver De’Angelo Smith’s spectacular 72 yard catch, set up another score by quarterback Eugene Smith with 7:30 left to play in the game.
Free Safety Tracy White’s stop on fourth down gave FVSU the ball on the Blazer’s 47 yard, but hopes died with a penalty and interception. The later statement was a mirror image of Fort Valley’s game against Valdosta–miscues and penalties.
The Wildcats were penalized 12 times for 90 yards, but most importantly failed to score on three opportunities inside Valdosta State’s red zone.
Smith making his return to Fort Valley State, after spending two seasons in junior college, completed 17-of-37 passes for 287 yards. He also had 47 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The wide receiver Smith, a transfer from South Carolina, finished with 122 yards receiving on only three catches.
Fort Valley State will travel to Savannah State for another non-conference game against an in-state foe next Saturday.
Morehouse comeback attempt falls short
Howard 27, Morehouse 16
WASHINGTON–The third time was not the charm for Morehouse in the renewed rivalry against Howard University. Instead the Maroon Tigers fell 27-16 to the Bison in game three of the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic.
Morehouse jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but surrendered 27 straight points, before rallying for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, to narrow the gap.
Morehouse, 0-1, scored on a 37-yard field goal by transfer junior Hector Solis, a 9-yard pass from quarterback Joshua Harris to wide receiver Brandon Sartin and a 3-yard run by Shelton Hamilton.
Despite constant pressure and being sacked seven times, quarterback Joshua Harris completed 18 of 31 passes, for 193 yards and a touchdown. He gained 78 yards rushing, on 22 attempts.
His longest completion of 44 yards went to Lake McGuffie midway through the fourth quarter that helped set up the Hamilton’s touchdown.
McGuffie, playing in his first Morehouse game, had a big day for the Tigers, hauling in four passes for 102 yards, to lead all receivers.
Shelton Hamilton led the Morehouse running backs with 55 yards on 20 carries.
Punter Temitayo Agoro gained 27 yards on a fake punt in the fourth.
Sartin caught four passes for 27 yards, including his TD reception.
The Maroon Tigers will go on the road against next week, to face the Lane College Dragons, in Jackson, TN, at 2 p.m.
Tigers dominate, shut out Concordia in season opener
Stillman 52, Concordia-Selman 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– Josh Straughan threw for 206 yards and a touchdowns and Stillman rushed for 332 yards and had five different running backs score touchdowns in the Tigers 52-0 rout of Concordia-Selman in the season opener at Stillman Stadium.
Stillman, (1-0), racked up a total of 538 yards of total offense on a balanced attack that kept the Hornets off guard all night. Rontavious Johnson scored the team’s first touchdown of the season with a 20 yard run in the first quarter. He finish with a team high of 85 yards, while Torrence Moise led the team with two touchdowns.
On the receiving end, Dondre Purnell caught a 80-yard touchdown pass and finished with a game high 91 yards on four receptions.
The Tigers defense pitched the shutout by holding Concordia to only 107 yards of total offense, while forcing three turnovers. Stillman also recorded 10 quarterback sacks.
The Tigers will travel to Atlanta to face Clark Atlanta on Saturday.
Late FG’s Stuns Albany State, negates comeback attempt
North Greenville 26, Albany State 24
TRAVELERS REST, SC— Albany State erased a 17-point deficit to take a lead, but North Greenville’s Justin Gravely hit a 31-yard field goal with 42 seconds left to give the Crusaders a 26-24 victory over the Golden Rams Saturday at Younts Stadium.
Albany State erased a 17-point deficit when junior quarterback Frank Rivers threw two touchdown passes to All-SIAC receiver Jessie Atkins in the fourth quarter, running back Phillip Moore ran for 6-yards to help the Golden Rams counter 18 unanswered points, which gave the team a 24-23 lead with 2:55 remaining in the game.
Rivers finished the game with 266 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions, while Atkins, last year’s leading receiver for the Rams, had 11 catches for 163 yards.
Albany State’s offense starting struggling from the opening kickoff when the Rams went three-and-out and gave North Greenville good field position after a poor punt from Ryan Latner. The Crusaders capitalized with a Gravely 37-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead, and then North Greenville took a 9-0 lead on the opening play of the second quarter on a 4-yard pass from quarterback Nelson Hughes.
Albany State got on the board with 2:37 left when sophomore place kicker Zachary Holley nailed a 39-yard field goal, which was set up by a 39-yard pass from Rivers to Atkins.
After a NGU three-and-out the Rams marched back down the field in the closing moments of the first half, setting up another Holley field goal. With three seconds before the half, Holley connected on a 37-yard FG to give the Rams momentum heading into the locker room.
The Crusaders, however, stole the momentum right back with a TD pass from QB Nelson Hughes three minutes into the half, and then nearly broke ASU’s back with a TD pass from Hughes to Trey Walker on the final play of the third quarter to take a 23-6 lead.
A slimmer of hope returned to the Rams’ sideline with 11:38 left in the game when Atkins caught a 31-yard TD pass from Rivers, which was set up by an 18-yard catch from ASU running back Kareem Hess on the previous play.
ASU’s final two TDs were a 6-yard TD run from Moore and a 14-yard pass from Rivers to Atkins before Gravely’s game winning FG.
The Golden Rams will have its home opener next week against Tuskegee.
Golden Tigers dominate rival in season opener
Tuskegee 23, Alabama A&M 7
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A key 56-yard touchdown pass from Justin Nared to receiver Marquel Gardner in third quarter gave Tuskegee all the separation they needed in pulling off a season-opening upset with a 23-7 victory over Alabama A&M at the 4th annual Louis Crews Classic on Saturday night at Louis Crews Stadium.
The Golden Tigers, (1-0), were able to break the game open early as Alabama A&M made a key mistake in the opening quarter. Just after Nared was able to complete a 23-yard pass to Christopher Anderson, Alabama A&M’s Lawrence Barnett fumbled the ensuing kickoff at his own 27 yard line. After Tuskegee’s Keith Trumps picked up the ball, Nared was able to fire off another touchdown pass on the very next play to Larry Cobb for 27 yards. This gave the defending SIAC Champions a 14-0 lead, with two touchdowns scored in a span of 15 seconds.
Alabama A&M threatened to close the gap in the third quarter, but Cesar Ramon missed a key 27-yard field goal. However, the Bulldogs’ defense forced a three-and-out for Tuskegee, and Barrington Scott was finally able to score on the stingy defense of the Golden Tigers with a two-yard score with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter.
The game broke open again in the fourth with Gardner’s spectacular score, putting Tuskegee fully in control after breaking a devastating tackle attempt near Alabama A&M’s 30-yard line before coasting in for the deciding score.
Nared was 11-for-18 under center, with a total of 206 yards and three TD passes to go with one interception. TU Coach Willie Slater also had an effective running game under center, as Rashard Burkette was the leading rusher for the Golden Tigers, as he had three rushed for 33 yards.